Matthew Stafford leaves game vs. Saints after sack, evaluated for concussion again

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is back in concussion protocol.

Stafford left Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the third quarter after taking a sack, which was one of several notable hits he took throughout the game.

Stafford was slow to get up after he was taken down for the nine-yard loss, and went to the sidelines before leaving for the locker room to be evaluated.

The Rams never officially ruled Stafford out, but he did not return. He was replaced by Bryce Perkins. Second string quarterback John Wolford was ruled out before the game with a neck injury.

Stafford missed the Rams’ loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week while in concussion protocol, something that apparently happened in their Week 9 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was cleared from protocols on Friday, however, and started on Sunday normally.

He finished throwing 11-of-18 for 159 yards with two touchdowns against New Orleans.

Though the Rams cut it to a one score game with a pair of field goals — including a 58-yarder from Matt Gay in the final minutes — it was too late. The Saints held on to take the seven-point win, which snapped a two-game losing skid for New Orleans. Andy Dalton went 21-of-25 for 260 yards with three touchdowns for the Saints, and receiver Chris Olave had 102 yards and a touchdown on five receptions.

Perkins finished throwing 5-of-10 for 64 yards. The former Virginia quarterback was the Rams’ second-leading rusher with 39 yards on five carries, too. The Rams have now lost four straight and six of their last seven games. It's unclear how long Stafford will be sidelined. The Rams will travel to the Kansas City Chiefs next week, where Perkins will be in line to start if Stafford is still in protocols.